India: Course Details

Course Themes

  • Biodiversity of the Western Ghats
  • Understanding ecological, cultural, and social value of sacred groves
  • Spiritual ecology and conservation
  • Local ecological knowledge
  • Inquiry-driven learning
  • Participatory education
  • Community-based conservation

A typical day in India is likely to include:

  • Visits to sacred groves, temples, and other field conservation sites
  • Dialogue with experienced local conservationists
  • Student-led discussions on key course topics
  • Lectures
  • Engaging with local communities
  • Open inquiries
  • Journal writing


India is a spectacular country of tremendous biological and cultural diversity, a place where ancient traditions coexist alongside modern cities in one of the world’s largest democracies. The natural environments of India range from deserts to tropical forests, from beaches to Himalayan peaks. India has more than 400 wildlife sanctuaries and is home to elephants, hornbills, wild dogs, crocodiles, tigers, and rhinoceroses. As the birthplace of four world religions, India has helped shape cultures across Asia and beyond.

“I appreciated the way this course integrated sociology, community connection, and science into each field experience. I loved working with AERF and having the opportunity to interact with people from local communities in the Western Ghats.”– Shana B., Washington, D.C.

Dragonfly Workshops Web-Based Learning Community

Upon acceptance into the program, students will join instructors and classmates in DragonflyWorkshops’ collaborative Web community to complete pre-trip assignments. After returning home, students will continue to work in their Web-based community through early December to develop projects initiated in the field, discuss assignments, and exchange ideas. All students should expect to spend two to three hours a week contributing to their Web-Based Learning Community from their home or school computer. Navigating the Web platform is easy–it’s designed for people with no prior computer experience. To learn more about this unique Web experience, visit

More Information

For more information on the admissions process, physical requirements, and more, please visit FAQs.